Young Sherlock Holmes 1: Death Cloud
- Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date:
- 04 June 2010
- Crime & mystery fiction
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Picture it. The market town of Farnham. A street in the higher end of town scattered with passerby’s making their way to and from their chosen destinations. A young boy in search of a scrap of food to stave off the hunger gnawing at his gut steps down an alley and witnesses a curiosity the likes of which he has never seen. A strange black cloud seems to be emanating from a window of a tenant house…and then disappeared up and over the rooftop of the adjoining building. Peculiar activity for a cloud and yet there is no time to ponder this fact as the silence of the morning is pierced by a scream of pure terror. What pray tell has happened to illicit this cry and is it connected to the mysterious cloud apparition? A mystery in the making and as the death toll begins to pile up; the curiosity of one inquisitive young visitor to these parts is piqued. Who is this young soul? The greatest detective in the making, one Sherlock Holmes…at least he will be once he finishes his schooling. The game is afoot! Are you ready?The author’s treatment of Sherlock’s actual character falls right in line with the image readers are familiar with around the world....just in his growing stages. His love of conjecture that when honed becomes a valuable ally when all obvious explanations have been exhausted. His penchant for violin music eventually becomes a soundtrack of sorts to allow his mind to wander over the minute details of a case. His ability to discern what others can not developing with each and every human interaction. Speaking of which, let’s talk characters...There are many players of which to take note whether they star in a pivotal role or not, but a few outshine the rest. First and foremost of course we have Sherlock Holmes. Though a mere boy in age, his intellect burns as brightly as a candle in the darkest night…even if he does have a bit of growing up to do still. Then there is Matty Arnatt. He is a gypsy boy of sorts, though orphan currently, and makes his ends meet by filching what he can when he needs to as well as having the uncanny ability to not only show up just in the nick of time but also to disappear without leaving so much as a foot print in the dust. Mr. Amyus Crowe with great skills and vast knowledge but they seem a bit unorthodox for your average tutor....odd, but handy later on. As for the "baddies", one is kept guessing as to the very nature of the beast or villain they are dealing with and while I won’t go naming names to spoil your fun, I will say this…be prepared for a few surprises.To summarize, a wonderful book for younger teens through adults that love a good mystery with all the danger and adventure one could shake a fist at if they were so inclined. It’s rough and tumble action scenes combined with the quieter serene ponderings make for a journey readers won’t soon forget. Can't wait for book two! Happy reading....
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane was an exhilarating book! Featuring a young Sherlock Holmes at age 14 and his friends, several murders, a very creepy bad guy with an evil plot, some romance, and whole lot of action. I loved this mystery! Sherlock was depicted exactly as I would have imagined him to be at this age! I enjoyed seeing how the talent he already had and the skills he learned would turn him into the famous detective so well known. I also enjoyed seeing the word “deduced.” It’s probably my new favorite word.Sherlock’s tutor Mr. Crowe quickly became one of the best characters. Between the random bits of intelligence he was always giving, and the fact that he helped me understand a story problem that long has confused me, it was almost inevitable. Here’s the problem, a small taste of some of the problems and mysteries in this book:Three men decide to split the cost of a thirty shilling hotel room. Each fellow pays the manager ten shillings. The next morning the manager realizes he made a mistake in that a special rate was being charged on the room because of construction on the hotel. He sends a bellboy to give back five shillings. The men are so pleased they decide to each keep a shilling and give two to the boy as a tip. So each man ends up only paying nine shillings and the boy makes two. But, nine times three is twenty-seven shillings, and when you add the two shillings the boy got, it’s still only twenty-nine. Where did the missing shilling go?Not taken exactly from the text, I took out all the dialogue of them thinking it out, but it’s from pages 120 and 121. That problem has tortured my poor head since middle school and I actually squealed when the answer was explained! I leave you, dear reader, to the awful pondering that follows this story. But, unlike the evil classmate who posed this story to me, I’ve given you a way to find out the answer. Read Death Cloud!
Sherlock Holmes at fourteen... great stuff. I enjoyed this book and sharing the very first case of Sherlock Holmes, even before Dr. Watson came onto the scene.
Jake's Review: This one was hard to read, but it was still a good exciting story. There are a lot of words I had to have mom explain to me so it took me a long time to read it. I also think it was a little old for me as there was some really scary stuff in it. I did like that Sherlock Holmes was a teenager and got to solve mysteries and help people. He was really smart at figuring out things and got to do a lot of stuff on his own. I felt bad for him at times because he was sort of all on his own with no Mom or Dad to help him out. TJake's Rating: 7/10Mom's Review: After reading this I realized it might have been a wee bit too old for Jake. Some of the language was difficult for a 10 yr old boy and it dealt with some rather violent scenes (Nothing too graphic though). Now I personally found it delightful, dark, witty and exciting and would recommend it more for teens with more sophisticated tastes. It did drag a wee bit in spots for me and I was frustrated with some of the repetition, but you have to remember it is not written for moms. The author obviously has researched Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle and the London of the 1860's as it rings very true. Fans of the original Holmes will see that the young Sherlock in this series could very well develop into Doyle's Holmes. He has his mannerisms, his intellect and you can see his passions for detective work developing. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.Mom's Rating: 8/10We received the book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review
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